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grieving. >> oh, i'm so sorry. and the people on the front lines helping them through. "world news" begins now. from abc news, this is a special edition of "world news" with david muir. "tragedy at the elementary school." good evening tonight on this saturday evening from newtown, connecticut, again this evening, a small town in a small northeastern state, but the killing that happened here is breaking hearts from one corner of this vast country to another. here in newtown, 26 christmas trees placed today on the road to the school, one for every victim who died there. in texas today, high schoolers coming together to sing in honored of those lost. in oregon, hundreds gathering for a candlelight vigil. in what has become a national day of grief. but of course that grief felt nowhere more than right here in newtown, where you're looking at makeshift memorial, outside of sandy hook elementary school, people coming together there this evening to try to
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understand what happened. and try to comfort one another. our abc news team here on the ground covering it all and this evening for the first time, we're learning the names, seeing some of the faces of the young victims, all of them first graders. the medical examiner reporting a short time ago, many of them were shot at close range. and this evening, we begin with a father who lost his little girl. as you drive through this community, the signs of grief are inescapable. on the side of to road, we love you sandy hook elementary. tonight, we're hearing a father's anguish. robbie parker lost his daughter emilie. she was 6. >> teaching her how to read, dance and the simple joyce of life. her laugh was infectious. >> reporter: this evening a horrific portrait of just who the gunman targeted. in one classroom, every student but one shot and killed.
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15 first graders in that one room alone lost in instant. in another classroom five of the victims were children. we know that a little boy who had a twin sister, he died. his twin in another classroom hiding in a bathroom with her teacher survived. we know that the school principal is among the dead. dawn hochsprung, married, a mother herself. now it's believed as the horror unfolded, she may have turned on the p.a. system so that teachers could be warned of the danger coming. mary sherlach, the school psychologist. a family in a statement tonight, fe said that she felt she was doing god's work. another teacher, victoria soto, 27, her family said that her body was found in a position shielding some of her first-grade students. she hurried most of them into a closet before the gunman arrived. ana marquez-greene was 7.
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her father saying they're struggling to work through this nightmare. jesse white, -- lewis, just 6, his father was headed to school to watch him make a gingerbread house. and tonight, for the first time, we hear from one of the first responders, inside that fire hall where parents were told to pick up their students. we met this counselor. >> it was like watching something that wasn't real. >> she watched as it dawned on the parents. telling me they all knew the answer in that room, and yet they kept waiting. >> being there, you know, seeing the individuals, were going into that room to pick up their kids. and then, seeing them leave so distraught, from a position you're trying to help. >> she said some needed hugs, other simply needed someone to hold their hand. >> i think just being there. >> and for you, what was the hardest part about last night
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going home? >> that i was going home. i was going home to a family and loved ones. and taking that with me, those families were going home and somebody didn't go home with them. >> so brave to share her story with us today. and as this list is revealed late today of the victims. some of the youngest names and faces. we have learned that a member of our own abc family has learned that she's lost one of her own relatives. we're praying for all of the families here tonight. of course, what's happened here defies understanding. this evening we do know more about what happened as it unfolded yesterday, how this gunman blazed his way into that school and abc's dan harris has the latest. he reports now from across town at the fire station.
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dan, good evening. >> reporter: david, good evening to you. as you know well having covered this story since the moment it broke, there have been so many contradictory and false reports about exactly what happened inside that school, but tonight, finally, we're get a fuller picture of those first, frantic moments. at around 9:30 a.m., the suspect armed to the teeth and coated in kevlar forced his way into the school by breaking the glass here at the front entrance. the chards still visible even from the air today. >> units responding to sandy hook school. the front glass has been broken out of the school. they're unsure why. >> i can tell you it was believed he was not voluntarily let into the school at all, that he forced his way into the school. >> reporter: lanza had just driven the five miles from the home of his mother, nancy lanza, who he had murdered. once inside the school the rampage appears to have begun here near the office area. among his first victims, principal dawn hochsprung.
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and the school psychologist mary sherlach. >> the principal of the school was running toward the shooter in order to protect her students, as was the school psychologist. >> okay, all units, the individual that i have on the phone continuing to hear what he believes to be gunshots. >> reporter: then lanza proceeded deep into the school where he killed those 20 first-graders. the medical examiner saying today, that all of the children that he saw were hit multiple times. >> this probably is the worst that i have seen or the worst that i know of any of my colleagues have seen. >> reporter: police say the first 911 call came within minutes of lanza's arrival. >> one of the teachers helped people get out of a window. >> reporter: five to ten minutes after that, law enforcement
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officials were on the scene, entering the school, evacuating the students and staff and searching the rooms until they found lanza dead, apparently by his own hand. and police told us today the entire disaster was over within, quote, mere minutes. so little time, david, and incalculable damage. >> all of those young lives lost so quickly. dan harris has been here since the beginning. dan, thank you. of course the question that we have been asking here, what would drive anyone to target children so young, so helpless? tonight, we're learning more about the connection between the gunman, the school and his family. his relationship with his mother. here's our chief investigative correspondent, brian ross. >> reporter: the connection between adam lanza and sandy hook elementary school, goes back to when he was a student. his mother, nancy, worked as a teacher's aide there. according to adam's aunt. >> i know that she had issues with school.
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she eventually wound up home schooling him. she battled with the school district, in what capacity, i'm not certain. if it was behavior or learning disabilities. >> reporter: among those killed on friday, the school psychologist, mary sherlach, who worked with troubled students at sandy hook since 1994, which would include the time that adam was a student there. >> as far anything really wrong with him, nobody ever said anything. >> reporter: as a fuller picture of adam lanza began to emerge, including his membership in the high school tech club, former classmates told abc news that he was a smart but socially awkward student. >> he always carried a briefcase. >> reporter: another former classmate told david muir that adam was a loner. >> almost very timid. very nervous. if someone talked to him he would be very surprised. >> reporter: adam's parents, peter and nancy, went through an uncontested divorce three years ago, and adam's aunt also said today that nancy had purchased a number of guns because she was living alone.
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>> and for self-defense, no other reason. >> reporter: police say his mother's high-powered guns were the guns used by adam to kill his mother and those he massacred at the school. in a statement late tonight, lanza's father peter said, our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones. the developments coming so quickly. brian ross all on them. thank you. as you heard there, the shooter used a high-powered assault rifle to kill so many. abc's pierre thomas to tell us how powerful these weapons are. and just how easy they are to get in this country. >> reporter: extremely powerful. the assault rifle used in this type of shooting typically carries about 30 rounds or so. but it could carry up to 100 rounds or more. it can fire a barrage of bullets in seconds. that's why those children were killed so quickly. they're easy to buy. you can go to a local gun store
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and buy these guns within minutes after a background check. >> i know you're going to stay on the scene and report in the coming days. pierre thomas with us here tonight, thank you. tonight this evening, another child's eye view, we hear from the children inside that school, and this evening it's 9-year-old ethan and 9-year-old ben, twins brothers, who were in different parts of the school when the shots rang out. >> everyone thought that it was an animal. when we heard gunshots, we all huddled into my teacher's office. everybody was quiet. when the policeman came in to get us, he told us to close our eyes and do this. >> and run. >> and just go out. >> when i went to the fire department, when i didn't see ethan, i was like, oh, my god, what happened to my brother? is he okay? and then, when i finally found ethan, i was very, very relieved and we stuck together.
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>> as you can see there from their story, they put their hands on their shoulders. their teachers and school staff did all of the right things here. sandy hook elementary school is rated as one of the best schools in the country. it leads to the question if it can happen here, what can it be done to stop it from happening at this school and every other school across the country? >> reporter: the newtown school district decided to spend 10 times more on security training for staff this year according to budget documents. measures that did not prevent an unthinkable attack, but training that may have limited the damage. >> we practiced it, and they knew what to do, and you just think about protecting the kids, and just doing the right thing. >> reporter: clerk mary ann jacob says she had been drilled to send the kids in the library to a back closet between bookshelves, an emergency plan developed in advance. >> you have to have a certain amount of fire drills a year,
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and a certain amount of evacuation drills, and a certain amount of lockdown drills, so the kids know the routine, and the teachers know the routine, and everyone has a spot in the room where they are supposed to go. >> reporter: new to the plan this year at sandy hook elementary a letter to parents telling them no more open campus, even for them. installation of a security camera above the front entry door. picture i.d. if you are not recognized. security measures recommended for all schools and used nationwide as the gold standard in safety. >> sounds as though the school had security measures at the door, that they had staff who we were trained with lock-down procedures, and in some cases, staff who stepped in front of a bullet perhaps to protect a child's life. we can do our best to prevent incidents, we have to do our best to be prepared to manage those incidents. unfortunately, tragedies still occur. >> safety experts tell us that this is not the week for parents to be frightened for sending their kids back to school. every school in the country will be looking at their security plans this week. it's the future they need to worry about.
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david? >> this is the time when students, those little children just count down to christmas. jim avila tonight on the safety issue. jim, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news" -- in the midst of profound sadness and grief, the remarkable story behind an amazing principal we told you about earlier in the broadcast. it was just not her signal to other teachers, she left a message to this community as a whole. her extraordinary story after this break tonight. check out my new treadmill app. pretty sweet, huh? cute. but don't you have any apps on your phone that can make your life easier? who do you think i am, quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile. this amazingly useful app allows you to take pictures of your mortgage documents using an iphone or android smart phone... so you can easily send them to us.
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a community in mourning tonight. you're looking at an image of sandy hook, connecticut, the firefighters here hanging black bunting from their fire trucks today. the town in shock after yesterday's elementary school maasacre. we welcome you back now to this special edition of "world news." this evening as this community comes to grip with an unfathomable tragedy we're learning more about the heroes. in the line of fire. in the heat of violence saved so many of those children. here's abc's amy robach tonight. >> reporter: for the last two years, dawn hochsprung, infused sandy hook elementary school with her own special magic. a modern principal. she tweet and organized happy hours for the teachers to share
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the best ipad apps for the classrooms. this a photo she shared on twitter. on the first day of school -- welcoming our kinders this morning. 74 new opportunities to inspire life long learning. she introduced this sandy hook book fairy, keeping book in our hearts and on our minds, she tweeted. and with her love of learning, she led a group of remarkable teachers who were there for their students, teachers like kaitlin roig, how she quickly hid all of her first grade students in a bathroom. >> i need you to know that i love you all very much and that it's going to be okay, because i thought that was going to be the last thing they ever heard, i thought we were all going to die. >> reporter: she taught her teachers to do in a emergency. that training brought third grader hope safely to her mother
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when shots rang up, her pregnant teacher sprang into action. >> she locked the door. and put -- taped a piece of white paper over the door. then, she told us to go in the corner, there's 19 people in our class and she saved all of us. >> she saved all of us, from that little girl. amy robach here with us tonight. >> we learned something else about that principal. >> she got on that loud speaker each and every day, be kind to others that's what matters most. those words that she truly lived by by all accounts. >> she left such gift for this community. great reporting here from the beginning. when we come back on the broadcast here tonight -- much more news to cover, including that health scare for secretary of state hillary clinton. we're back in a moment. ♪ [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy.
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following this, how is mrs. clinton tonight? >> we know that she came back from her last trip nine days ago with a stomach bug, earlier in the week, she became dehydrated, fainted, have a concussion, she did not go to the hospital. doctors are monitoring her. this means that she'll not testify this week about the attack on the mission in benghazi and the killing of our ambassador there, the republican chair of the house committee not happy about that. but abc's jake tapper has learned that john kerry will be tapped as the replacement. for hillary clinton. so, david, there's a chance she'll never testify what happened in benghazi. david? >> two developments tonight, hillary clinton recovering from a fall and a possible secretary of state kerry in our future. david kerley, thank you tonight. when we come back here on the broadcast from newtown, connecticut, the profound question, how does this community celebrate christmas? look, if you have copd like me,
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you're looking tonight at an image that sums up the voice of an entire community in mourning.
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but resolving to stay strong, sandy hook telling the world "our hearts are broken, our spirits are strong." and finally, you can see the image of the church behind me, just one of the many churches in this community. it's opened its door, allowing people to come in, there's a not a service taking place, they simply said, come pray, come ask questions, one of the main questions they're grappling with, after a tragedy of this scope, of this nature, is how does a community then celebrate christmas? as you drive through this community, they're everywhere, the signs, hug a teacher, love will get us through, this bench full of roses. the small church on main street, a line of neighbors inside the front doors talking with the pastor. but what we also noticed today were the minivans, the station wagons, carrying home christmas trees, families determined to keep this tragedy from stealing the holiday, too. more than 40 years you have been selling christmas trees here. >> yes.
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>> she said that this is the toughest. she got a call from the father on the way to tree farm today. >> bring the child out. i want to pick a tree with her. it will be a bittersweet christmas, i think, for many, many people. >> and for you, i can tell. inside the photos of the families who come every year, around outside, right there at her farm, the counselor the first responder we met, that help the parents at that firehouse, she's trying to keep her christmas. you got the tree on the truck? >> yes. >> there they are. >> oh, look at this guy. >> the tree on the roof. their four dogs inside. their family determined to keep christmas. and i give got to tell you, after talking to so many families in this town, they're determined to move forward and mark christmas. it will be difficult. but they're not going to let this gunman steal that from them that's the broadcast. "good morning america" and "this week" first thing in the morning. good night.
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>> ama: we're learning more about the shooting that took the lives of 27 people, and now the father of the shooter speaks out. the bay area in mourning along with the nation. we're live at one of the many vigils taking place tonight. you're looking at live doppler 7hd as the storm moves through. in the forecast is coming up. abc-7 news at 6:00 starts now. she is an incredible person. and i'm so blessed to be her dad. >> ama: a father's grief after
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yesterday's tragedy as we learn the names of the children and teachers killed. we are learning more about the young innocent victims of the massacre in connecticut. these are just some of the eye coppic images from yesterday's tragedy, and now we're hearing all the young children killed were all first graders, just five and six yearseest -- years old. reporter: anguished residents struggled to cope with the loss of so many to evil. the governor paid tribute to the victims. >> those educators and those innocent little boys and girls were taken from their families far too soon. reporter: but it seems almost nowhere are emotions running stronger than right here as a makeshift memorial that sprung up just 500 yards from the school. people are coming here to light candles and to remember. reporter: all day long people came carrying flowers and honoring the 20 children and six adults who died in

ABC World News With David Muir
ABC December 15, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. David Muir. (2012) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 8, Abc 7, Sandy 5, Lanza 5, Mourning 3, Clinton 3, Ethan 2, David Kerley 2, Pierre Thomas 2, Spiriva 2, Coricidin Hbp 2, Brian Ross 2, Adam Lanza 2, David Muir 2, Benghazi 2, Dawn Hochsprung 2, Mary Sherlach 2, Dan Harris 2, Nancy Lanza 1, At Quicken Loans 1
Network ABC
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 74 (525 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1280
Pixel height 720

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on 12/16/2012